Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Tebow Hater Theory

I've got a theory.

This theory will finally put to rest the question of "Why do people hate Tebow so much?".

Here is why.

In a professional sports world full of role models that should not be role models, we can't handle a good one. We look to athletes like Lebron and cheer him on one hand but love to scorn him for his "decision". We marvel at Vick's ability to throw and run, but chastise him for his treatment of dogs. We stand in awe of the incredible career of JoePa, but shake our heads at his inability to shutdown a scandal. Why do we love and hate these icons of the game so much but simply just hate tebow? It's extremely simple. We want to be able to say "see I'm better than that guy". He may be better in sports, but I'm better in life. At the end of the day it's ok to marvel at these guys and judge them, because we think we're better people. Tebow breaks that mold and it just F's with our minds.

With Tebow and we can't hold something over his head to make us feel better. The guy loves God, so we try to make fun of him. The guy prays when he needs assistance the most, so we mock him. The guy can't throw as well as others so we critique him. He spends his time in the offseason in poverty ridden countries volunteering in clinics, so we laugh at him. Bottom line is, Tim Tebow is a better person than us in sports and in real life, so he's hated for it, because we can't take it.

I love it. I love Tebow. I especially love the people that hate him, it says a lot about them.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Heisman: Win or lose? Which is actually better.

I wrote this blog a few years ago, and was thinking the same exact thing today as I wait to hear who is named this years winner.

You wanna be the next heisman winner? Really? Have you thought this through? Little boy in the backyard that just juked your unathletic friend past the maple tree for a TD, stop and think before you strike that iconic pose. If you have a dream of playing in the league someday, or the NFL for those that are behind on your hip lingo, you better hope you are the runner up at the downtown athletic club. You better hope that when Chris Fowler gets to that podium your name isn't behind that manilla folder. Why? After all the trophy is the defining moment of a college career? Thats exactly why. It's the defining moment of your college career, and your career there after. Lets take a look at the previous 20 year winners. Stay with me. (other than Cam and Tebow now)

Cam Newton - bucking the trend for the Heisman winner. I love what he's doing.

Mark Ingram - currently playing for the Saints. I would say his career is off to a good start.

2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma QB- Broke his shoulder like a cheap pair of velcro shoes. twice. Lost a guaranteed $20 million in first round money. His career is still up in the air.

2007 Tim Tebow Florida QB- The most hated man in college football, why? He's great in all aspects of football, life, and being awesome. Now look at him.

2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB- Blew the championship game against Florida, is now a career back up to a guy that played Div. I AA. Now playing at Omaha. That's not in the NFL.

2005 Reggie Bush USC RB- Not even the feature running back. He's a slash player, a gimmick guy. Since writing this, he has started to turn it around.

2004 Matt Leinart USC QB- HA. Really?

2003 Jason White Oklahoma QB- Not even in the league anymore. Really?

2002 Carson Palmer USC QB- Could of would've should've

2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska QB- Retired after 2-3 seasons. For injury you ask? Oh no, because he sucked.

2000 Chris Weinke Florida State QB- This guy pulled social security as soon as he won this award. He might be a backup right now, or a AARP rep.

1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin RB- Had a decent start to his pro career, but where is he now?

1998 Ricky Williams Texas RB- wedding dress. marijauna. now the wildcat. Ricky might be back. Or not.

1997 Charles Woodson Michigan DB/WR- The only Defensive player in the last 12 years. This dude is still making plays, very impressive, plus my high school beat him in high school.

1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida QB- HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH


1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB- Oh bout this guy? never made it. ever.

1993 Charlie Ward Florida State QB- Hilarious. did he get drafted? Honestly, he didn't.

1992 Gino Torretta Miami QB- Do you hear his name with Brett Favre? No, me neither.

1991 Desmond Howard Michigan WR- He's great on college gameday each sat. enough said. His pro career is like his old college now.

1990 Ty Detmer Brigham Young QB- Loved this guy. Had one year in the pro, or was that his brother Koy? I can't remember.

1989 Andre Ware Houston QB- 5-8 as an NFL starter. Ha

So do you want to be the next heisman trophy winner? Go look at the list of runner ups, I'll be on that list anyday. Forget the SI curse, someone start talking about the Heisman curse. If I have a son, I'm going to teach him to strike the runner up pose when he scores a TD, stand there, clap and nod in approval.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

realizations, from my perspective.

my realizations about my job as of 10:00 this tuesday night.

Jobs are better when you have established relationships that increase your drive and desire to be there and do well.

Jobs are better when you take time to play. Intentionally fitting in time to find joy at work makes for a better version of your work self.

Jobs are better when you muddle through some bad times to only find the better times, are in fact, better.

Jobs are better when you can walk away from it, return, and know that everything is ok. You didn't just crash a plane like an air traffic controller.

Jobs are better when you know for sure that your future is truly unsure. The unknown is exciting, keeps you evolving.

Jobs are better when you earn recognition for your accomplishments and at the same time challenged with your shortcomings.

Jobs are better when you know your product will always be there in some form, so you're needed.

Jobs are better when you wake up in the morning and don't feel like you're going to a job.

here endeth the lesson.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I haven't posted something in forever. I'm not naive enough to think that shook your world, but here we go again. Remember getting a new hat? I know that when Brad and I would get a new hat it was an art form creating the "perfect" hat. We would rubber band the bill around a baseball over night, soaking the brim in water so it would dry in a perfect curve. The inside front of the hat always had that plastic layer that would make the hat stand up flat, we hated that, so we removed it. Painstaking process of cutting out the plastic, but you had to be careful because it was very easy to poke the inside of the hat and cause a hole, thus ruining the hat. Then there was the front tip of the bill, sometimes it looked good all frayed, other times we took a lighter to it because it looked better scorched a little. We would literally beat the hat into the wall, against brick, whatever we could do to break it down so it fit perfectly.

The reason I bring this up is because I often think about how many hats I wear "job" wise. In a given day I could be a teacher, department head, DC coordinator, Mentor to new teacher, team leader, middle school ministry leader, high school ministry leader, app salesman, father, and husband. That's a lot of hats. Each one is unique it's in own way and brings both joy and stress. I spend a lot of time mentally beating these hats into a comfortable fit. I want to bend them to fit my life better, because I live with the idea that "I'm needed" to do this job. Then today I woke up from a nap and read a blog by Steven Furtick. The blog basically said "stop kidding yourself that you think you're job is so important that the bigger purpose of life, God, can't be, and won't be carried out". You know the hat that I wear the most? sleeper. 1/3 of our lives we will be asleep. Why do I put so much stress on myself over these many jobs I hold? Because in my mind the stress comes from me believing what "I" do matters the most, instead it should be I do my best and God takes care of the rest. If you haven't seen the movie Facing the Giants I recommend it, especially if you have little kids. Ignore the poor acting and focus on the point.

Line from the movie

“Grant, I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain,” the man said, “and both of them prayed for rain. But, only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?”

“Well, the one who prepared his fields for it,” the main character replied.

“Which one are you? God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Fathers are special. I'm not trying to lift up my own status or diminish the mother, because the mother is in a league of their own, above all. The father is someone that for centuries people turn to, whether it be advice, conquest, authority, and so on. The father for a long time has been the "name" of the family. To discuss a persons lineage was to discuss who their father was. Talk about responsibility. Your family name could be Mudd, pun and incorrect spelling intended, based on samuel mudd. John Q. Adams once said "Who we were in the past, is who we are now". I'm beyond proud to be linked to my father Jeff Wise. I couldn't have asked for a more honorable man as a father. Well respected, admired, enjoyed. Just a few adjectives people use to describe my father. Growing up my buddies called him "The Dean" and "Coach" titles of respect. They feared him but not in scared way, but because they knew of his expectations he held for us all. Letting down the Dean wasn't on our to-do list. One of the most respectable qualities of my father is his ability to be humble. Brad and I never grew up to stories his football success in high school or college. He could of put us to sleep at night with stories of the "wizard" running up touchdown totals for the college of Wooster, instead he chose to encourage us and push us. I know fathers that talk up their smallest accomplishments, and yet my father always changed the subject when his career was brought up. We had to pry information out of him and our grandpa. I could honestly list all the great ways my father created a name for our family. He chose family over career, staying in Tiffin to be an assistant when he could have been a successful head coach anywhere he chose. He modeled a responsible father growing up, being fiscally responsible, loving our mother, taking care of our home, and providing everything we needed. He modeled a christian home, raising us in a church, encouraging us to live like Godly men. My father isn't perfect, no one is. The best part is that my father didn't hide behind his pride. If there ever was a mistake made, he taught me the mistake he made and showed me the correct way. I'm proud of my father. Proud of my lineage. I hope someday my daughter will look at me when she is turning 30 and think have the good thoughts I have about me, as I do my dad. Love ya dad. I still remember the sand castles, the leg shaking trap, the wrestle matches, the football games, the hours of you catching my pitches and throws (even when I did hurt your hands). Thanks for being my dad even when it was hard.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to say "The"

You won't find me trying to argue for the firing of Jim Tressel, likewise, you won't find me arguing that he wasn't wrong. The level of wrong as far as I can see would result in a simple "Hey Jim, don't do that anymore, ok?"...instead we have THE OSU turning their back on the man that has more principle than the collection of remaining college coaches. Right now, coaches like Nick Saban, Gene Chizik, and other big programs are scrambling to close the mouths of those whistle blowers that could make them the next JT punchline. The problem of student athletes selling their gear for cash or body ink has zero impact on me. I think they're stupid, but it's their loss down the road. Should a coach be fired because of their lack of nostalgia? Not at all. What fired JT is the simple fact that when it came time to choose loyalty to players or loyalty to what is right, he chose wrong. In a parallel to the final scene of Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, when the guy chose the wrong holy grail and evaporated into dust, Jimmy T did the same. At the moment when the NCAA asked him in December "did you know about this?" Whether he knew what he was doing or not, he should have told the truth. At that moment when he said "I didn't know about it" blammo evaporated grail style.

His loyalty to the players killed his chances of making it thru this storm. My problem isn't even the loyalty, it's what was brewed before that. It's the false empowerment gave to players like Pryor. His comment in the SI article that bothers me the most is when TP says "I can get anything I want" referring to gear such as shoulder pads, etc. Players like Pryor became bigger than the program, and that I blame Tress for. I don't blame him for any wrong doing other than lying and allowing #2 to become an ego factory. I watched a practice once when Pryor walked out 20 minutes late, nothing snapped up, and didn't even join his teammates for stretching. I looked to Tress to rip his face off, instead I was left expecting more. Instead I watched a lackluster superstar give just that type of effort all practice, never to be talked to. Maybe the machine was already rolling and the scandals were years deep by that point, but that day my OSU pride died a little inside of me because I expected more. Today I sit a broken OSU fan, unsure of what I grab hold of. Before today I could tie myself to the fact that "We do things the right way, the winners way". Now we are looked upon as "every other program". When things started to go south for the program I expected more. I expected more from Tressel and to do what was right no matter what consequence it had. I expected more from the University to stand by their guy. I expected more from players that love him and come to his defense. Instead I am just slowly losing a great source of pride.

So, I think all of ohio state nation needs to start learning how to pronounce word "the" because we aren't THE Ohio State University, we are just the.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Engagement

Today marks the 4th year date of our engagement. If it were up to Lindsey we would have been engaged much earlier. The amount of pressure put on a guy to get engaged, then to plan the engagement is immense. Let's be honest, typically guys are awful at planning things, we just want to do it, be done, and move on. The whole idea of spending months planning and orchestrating is just exhausting. However, guys want to make their significant others happy, so we do it.

My time came. The day of being the single man was over. I went ring shopping with my buddy Jordan and decided on the perfect stone. Now it was time to design what would hold it. Knowing a little bit about what she wanted, I went on to design a ring that I thought would fit her perfectly.

The ring is a huge part, but it's not the only part. The other half of the equation is how to get that ring on her finger? Do you go the simple dinner out, pop on a knee? Maybe you're that guy that proposes at the ball game? In front of family? None of these would work for me. If you know me at all you know that at times I can be a bit over the top. This seemed to be one of those times that called for big plans.

Step one: Get the Father in Law blessing. I'm comfortable talking to anyone, but asking for the blessing is a pressure cooker man. We were sitting there on Derby Day I believe, which happens to be like a national holiday for my father in law. So, in my mind, why not ask him the most important question on the day he just wants to sit in his chair and watch races all day? Brilliant huh? So with Lindsey and her mom in the other room I dropped the ol' bomb on Gary and ask for his blessing. He agrees of course, but not sure if it was due to excitement or simply because the horses were at the gate and the next race was starting. I didn't tell the mother in law, and to this day I still get crap. Ha.

Step two: Think of the knockout plan. I had initially thought I would propose in California. We were heading there for Jordan's wedding, why not use the golden coast as my backdrop. Then I kept thinking about Meet the Parents, and checking the bag, losing the ring, and all of that so I backed out. Next was to do it at Florida with Lindsey's extended family all there on the beach. Then I realized I wasn't sure how much this family really liked me at the time, and to do that you have to be pretty confident that an excited response would be your return. So I settle on the best friend approach.

Step three: Secure the plan. I call Jess, Lindsey's best friend, to orchestrate this plan of deception on my future wife. We agree to tell her she is invited to South Carolina to help Jess plan her upcoming wedding to Lindsey's cousin. Lindsey of course has some reservations on the cost of flights and I need her to only buy a one way ticket, so we make up the idea that Jess has a "one way voucher" for a flight. My ever-trusting wife agrees, and purchases the one way ticket.

Step four: Details. Jess and I discuss the idea of proposing on this bridge that overlooks a waterfall and ravine. Perfect. Let's do it. The plan is in place.

Step five: Transportation. I didn't want to drive my new car, so I rented a standard pontiac grand am. I show up at the rental store and am asked why I am renting a car. So I explain the whole story, show the ladies the ring....bada bing...instant upgrade. I get the choice of the lot. I pick out a brand new SUV with all the bells and whistles. Girls love a mushy story.

Step six: Passengers. I didn't want to drive 9 hours alone, so I asked Lindsey's sister, Lana. We didn't really know eachother all that well, but I thought what the heck this is a good way to learn. We had a great time in the ride, screaming songs at the top of our lungs when we got a little stir crazy thru the mountains. Ate an amazing corn dog, and spent a lot of time getting to know each other.

Execution. Now that the time had come I was getting nervous because our entire plan hinged on good weather. I look up the weather report that morning and sure enough, rain. Toby, the cousin, picks us up and it is raining, like fat rain. We are talking in the car about our plan B, which of course we have no plan B so it's just "plan screwed". As we drive closer to the bridge the rain begins to stop. We park and walk to the bridge where I take my post, Toby and Lana go hide down the bridge so they can give me the signal (raise a leg when you see Lindsey coming). I am watching them but also thinking about the past 26 years. All those girlfriends and dates that led me to this point. It's funny, each person/date you learn something about yourself and what you're looking for in a spouse. You kind of owe them a thank you at that moment. I'm snapped back into reality when I see Toby pumping his leg like he's trying to stomp a family of oversized ants. I give a quick look to my left and see Jess and Lindsey walking toward me. I get that huge lump in my throat and reach for the ring in my pocket that I have now thumbed over a million times to make sure it's there.

This is it, I think to myself.

I spin around all hollywood style to surprise my future wife. With a stunned look on her face she reaches her hands to her mouth and can't audible a single thing. I pop down on one leg, say something that I honestly can't remember, and probably is a good thing. After gathering her senses she finally says yes (talk about sweating that out) and I put the ring on her finger. That moment it all comes full circle and you realize all that planning is worth it because of the phone calls and joy your fiance gets to make to tell everyone how it went down. Except that phone call to the mother in law that didn't know, sorry Kim!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

44 (ok maybe just 22)

I heard a report this morning about a man who made it big with his little business. He retired with a large amount of available cash, so he spent the next few years traveling around the world and thanking 44 people that impacted his life in a positive way. This blog really isn't for anyone but me and those 44 people. I am not even sure I have 44 people yet, then again, I am half this guys age. So I am going to go with 22 people. The one qualifier is that I can't pick anyone in my family and the current people I am involved with like close friends and colleagues right now or in the last couple years. The story isn't written on how you have completely impacted my life. So 22 people from my past that impacted me in a positive way: (i encourage you to do the same) This is no order. If I could thank each of them individually I would, and I hope they all know the difference they made in at least one kid's life.

1. Dr. David Allen. My freshman year at U of F Doc was one of my professors. He saw something in me and hired me as his teaching assistant. He and I became close over the four years and he always pushed me to dream big, never settling. He didn't have any sons and I always felt like he viewed me in that way. He passed away two years after I graduated, but I will always remember him.

2. Mr. Todd Edmond. Mr. E was my social studies teacher in high school. By the time I was a senior I still had no idea what I wanted to go into college for. During my senior year I had a history class with him and the light turned on. Mr. E made history fun and made me want to do the same for kids. It was because of that senior year experience and his teaching style that I am teaching the way I do.

3. Mrs. Melissa DeMoss. My high school art teacher. She was a breath of honesty. She told me when I sucked. She told me when I was great. The thing I remember about Mrs. D the most is that she told me when I was being average. Even when I wasn't in her class my senior year, she was a shot of reality for me that my big ego headed self needed. I treat kids the same way now because I realize the long lasting impact it had. Plus she was really freaking fun.

4. Lorraine Mackey (now Smith). She was my high school musical director. She took a high school QB and turned him into Glee. I was opened to an entirely new set of people and kids that makes me appreciate all kids now as a teacher. She took my insecurities and helped me become a more well rounded person. She also got me involved in summer camps helping kids realize they can play sports and be a part of the arts. That was life changing.

5. Cliff Hite. Findlay high school head football coach. You wanna talk about eccentric? Coach Hite was the model of it. Football coach, history teacher, community actor, and now Ohio Senator. I learned about the spread offense from him. Teaching me the insides and outs, making it as easy as PB and J. He showed me how not to take everything so seriously, but have a serious goal.

6. Bill Rietz. SS department chair my first 4 years of teaching. This is the most recent person I think I can post based on the rules. Bill has since retired and I really haven't had much contact in 3 years. Bill sat me down halfway thru my first year of teaching (we shared a room). He asked me what I wanted to get out of teaching. He went on to say that the current way I'm teaching isn't going to result in those goals. He taught me more in that half hour conversation and the first year I was teaching than all the methodology classes combined in college. I grew because of Mr. Rietz. He corrected me when I needed it and because of him I have continued to grow each year.

7. Pastor Rob Mitchell. Rob was my youth pastor. He made liking football and Jesus cool. Sounds silly, but that is what made him to real to me. Here was a guy that loved the packers as a near second to the amount he loved Jesus. I thought that was cool. He left midway thru my school career and I never really grew after that, I think because I was always hoping Rob would return.

8. Coach Hess. My little league and 9th grade football coach. Coach Hess gave me the initial confidence to be a football player. He was my first real coach, other than my dad who I knew already thought the world of me. So here is the guy that I have to impress because I'm not his kid. As little as that level of football really means in the grand scheme, it meant a lot to me that he believed in me and coached me in a positive way.

9. Scott Will. Coach Will was a history teacher, football coach, and an even stronger Christian. In high school you don't have many teachers or coaches that are strong christians. SWill was. He made an impact on me, not necessarily then, but now. He led FCA that I never attended and I don't know why. I look back at the time after time he invited me to come, and I always dissapointed him. Yet he kept asking. Even after school he kept in touch to see how I was doing with life and my walk with Christ. That impacts me to this day with how I handle certain kids.

10. Dr. Denise Callahan. My elementary principal, then my Superintendent. To an elementary kid she was like 7 foot 2. I distinctly remember being called into her office one time for an altercation. She had me sign her book, and if I ever signed that again for getting in trouble it would be an "issue" with her. She taught me that people screw up, but it matters what you do next. She was always so eager to hear how I was doing, even years after elementary school. She cared about kids and teachers and we were lucky to have her.

11. Paula Sehlhorst. My summer custodian boss. She worked in a position that most people take for granted, the school custodian. Former students came back and worked as summer custodians for years before they canceled that program. My brother and I had the pleasure of working for Paula at Krout Elementary. Paula taught me the fine details of making a school look the way it does. I never appreciated the work of a custodian until I worked as one. They put their absolute best into making a school look great for kids and teachers alike, just so we can mess it up. Paula showed me hard work that goes unnoticed isn't any less important.

12-22 to be continued...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Price of an opportunity

Tomorrow is a big day. Tuesday May 3rd is the day most people will be going to the polls to punch a ticket for local issues, most notably school levy's. The district Lins and I work in will be one such district. One of the largest districts in the area with 23+ schools, you would think we are pretty secure, but I'm not entirely sold. For the first time in my 29 years I have seen levy signs against the district levy. Vote No signs. Remove myself as a teacher of that district and I want to knock on their door and ask them to have a conversation with me. I want to ask them what their school experience was like growing up. Most likely they didn't deal with programs, sports, arts of all kind being cut. I want to make this clear, I am not writing this to sway votes by any means, in fact I was very worried thinking that this might rally support in a negative light. Then I remembered that I am not the Huffington Post and my 12 readers aren't exactly the Tea Party type.

I totally get someone that would vote no because of their economic standing. It's tough right now, I get that. I'm guessing there were people that had it tough when I was a kid, but they still voted yes for the annual increase in their property tax. I can't put a price value on how much I appreciate that. I am going to the polls tomorrow to vote yes for a levy for the district I currently live in. I have a decent amount of animosity toward that district, but I have more love for the experience those kids deserve. I'll gladly pay a little more in my yearly tax so they can have their music, art, theater, and sports. So young teachers that are willing to take chances and make connections with kids aren't being Rif'd. When I was their age I had families that voted yes for me so I could have that opportunity, I feel like this is a rare time of when I can pay it forward.

I guess tomorrow if the results come in as a loss I will be extremely upset. My wife has a chance of being cut from her position. I have good friends that are almost guaranteed out if it's a no vote majority. Good teachers that love kids and impact them each day. Honestly though, I'll be more upset for the kids. They will lose out on something that I and many others cherish so much. The opportunity to run out onto a field or court. The chance to sing a solo or play an instrument in front of a packed house. Take an art project to state and win or lose, but say you were there. Without operating funds, those opportunities are afterthoughts.

My wife is a tremendous teacher, one I admire very much because of her work ethic, she will land on her feet and find a job. My friends are all great finds, they will get snatched up very quickly. I can't say the same for the kids. Their experiences can't be picked up, they can't relive their freshman year of basketball. They can't ask for their senior season of football back. It's an experience that will stay with them the rest of their lives, but for the wrong reason.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado at the Point

First off, prayers and thoughts are with everyone affected by the Tornado(s) in the south.

With all of the reports around the U.S. about Tornadoes I can't help but think of a story from High School. One afternoon we all decided to go up for an afternoon of Raptor riding. It was a perfect afternoon, not too hot but a decent wind to keep things cool. As we started toward the Raptor it was a typical long line and people dressed like eachother with the matching shirts. We worked our way up to the top spot, ready to load into the shoulder harnesses. This is when things started to slow down. The group of us started to realize that we were alone. We looked behind us and the people that used to be standing there was quickly moving toward the stairs, apparently they were fearing the Raptor. However, the raptor wasn't the intimidator, we looked down over the railing to see a scene from King Kong. People were running and screaming like mad. They all had the same fearful look on their face as they turned their heads to look at the impending doom that was heading our way. In a slow motion turn, we all looked behind us back toward the coast of Cedar Point. Sure enough, barreling down at us was a very tall water tornado (spout). It wasn't playing around, it was heading right for us. With that unspoken "OH Sh#%" look we all took off down the stairs.

When we reached the bottom we started dipping and weaving in and out of people on our way to some kind of strong structure. The scariest part? As we ran past those picnic umbrella's they were being pulled into the sky like really big bottle rockets. The best part? We stopped and took the time to pose for a picture. The worst part? I don't remember who has those pictures. I remember Porter and I stopping and pointing at the Tornado, screaming faces in the background making the scene look almost unbelievable. We sprinted to our cars only to find out that there were 3 other water spouts making their way to the Point. Apparently water spouts love the magnum. Being 18 year old kids, we of course posed for more pictures with the spouts in the background. Below you will find the news report from that day.

We had fun with the situation, but there was defintely a real amount of fear there. I can't imagine the people of Alabama seeing the mile wide Tornado and the immense reality that it brings with it. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in 'bama. Roll Tide.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


What does your birthday really say about you? I used this birthday calculator, you can too. Here are some of my highlights, I would love it if you responded with some of yours.

(click here)

Your date of conception was on or about 6 December 1980 which was a Saturday.

You were born on a Saturday
under the astrological sign Virgo.
Your Life path number is

Your fortune cookie reads:
Love asks me no questions, and gives me endless support. Shakespeare

You are 935,682,879 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:

Michael Jackson (1958)
John McCain (1936)
Robin Leach (1941)

Top songs of 1981
Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Endless Love by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

Your lucky day is Wednesday.
Your lucky number is 5.
Your lucky dates are 5th, 14th, 23rd.Your opposition number(s) is 3. (makes sense because Charlie Frye was 3)

Your birthstone is Peridot

The Mystical properties of Peridot

Peridot is used to help dreams become a reality.

Then there is a link to see what your name says about you. That was interesting also. Maybe another post.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Job

Awhile back you may have read a post I wrote about giving up coaching and a new journey that I would be embarking upon. My entire life as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a head football coach. I loved the idea of leading young men in something I felt passionate about. I loved the idea of interacting with parents on almost a family level, both of us raising their son in a way. I loved the idea of the camaraderie among coaches and the fraternity you were a part of. I loved the idea of having the ability to make program decisions, the pressure that came with it included. I spent the last 7 years pursuing this dream. Every professional move I made was for this goal. Sitting through hours of interviews, answering to the best of my ability questions regarding program leadership. My favorite moment happened to be when I left my third interview and it was all but a done deal. I had done it, goal accomplished. Then my phone rang, and the superintendent said he had to go against his gut, because he was worried I was going to leave after success. Crash.

Imagine having a goal in front of you for your entire life, finally reach out for it and feel it in your fingers, only to have it slip out of your grip as you squeeze. It was here that my life changed forever.

The next months found me moving districts, jobs, and of course coaching assignments. I was now forced with a decision. Continue to pursue the dream I've had, fully knowing that I was back to square one, or find a new goal. I soon realized that my path was chosen for me, and it was pointless for me to fight it. Fast forward three years and here I sit about to explain how my goal was accomplished finally. No, I'm not going to be a head coach, I have come to grips (99% worth) with that being a goal that isn't for me. Instead, I'm becoming a head coach of a youth ministry. My official title will be Director of Youth Ministry at Northchurch in Lewis Center, OH. This provides everything I was looking for. A chance to work with not only guys but also girls about something I am passionate. It gives me the chance to work with parents in a family setting, both of us raising their son/daughter. I will have that camrarderie with fellow directors, pastors, and leaders. It provides me with the program decision making responsibility, pressure included. Most importantly it is not my goal, it's my goal with God's job description. I may not be calling the plays on a friday night, but there will come a time when a call I make will mean a heck of a lot more than a first down or a touchdown. Trust me, God can throw a better celebration party than the boosters.

It's with an immense amount of excitement and equal amount of fear that I jump into this new chapter of my life. I have a supportive wife and a daughter that can't speak her opinion yet, although I know it would be positive. I have a church family that is supportive with a core group of leaders, parents, and friends that will be an asset. I have a lead pastor that believes in me, and I don't forsee him calling me anytime soon saying that he is going against his gut because he's worried about me having success. We will fail, We will have success. We will hopefully do what God has intended, which I'm learning more about each and every day. So if you're a person that prays, throw a couple in Northchurch Student Ministry's direction. If you're not, throw us some good karma or sour patch kids, your call. It's about to be a heck of a my buddy McDonough says, which type of person are you?

1. A person that should have done more when they had the chance.
2. A person that wishes they did more, but waited for others to do it.
3. A person that just gets sh*t done.

Option 3 please.

Monday, March 28, 2011

McKinley Marie

Our know how weird it is to say that exact phrase? Parent... you know how much weirder that title is? I swear I stop and look at her and wonder if I am in fact, responsible for her. Like it's a leased car, and for some reason I'm not the official owner. I never thought of parenting the way it actually is. That sounds pretty stupid I realize, but the thought I had as a 20 year old kid about parenting was different. I guess I thought when I became a parent I would be and feel old. I thought the mindset that I would be in, would be of drinking coffee and looking over at my young child with a smile as I read the ticker about the stock I just invested in, while listening to mellow jazz. My brother might now take offense to that last statement, or my slightly hair challenged short friend, you know who you are matt.

Now that she's 9 months, closing in on 10, I can't believe how much fun she is. I can't believe how much I truly enjoy being a parent. The title parent typically came with the tag of burdensome responsibility when I was that 20 something old. I pictured it as the classic conversations Bill Cosby had with his kids. I never thought of the 9 month old parent. I didn't grow up around babies, I never had any real interaction with anyone that couldn't speak in audible words or walk farther than a half step before crashing to the ground. Cliff Huxtable always dealt with the antics of his pre-teen or teenagers. That was the view I had always had of parenting. I was thrust into this stage of parenting that made zero sense to me. Babies were foreign to me, the Mck was the first in our family, I had nothing to go off of. I had to straight up fake it for the first few months, buying myself time by acting like I was cool, calm, and collective. Now that she's older I am in no way a seasoned vet but I have figured one thing out, it's pretty freaking cool. Everything is exciting. I have more videos of the smallest things she does than Oprah does favorite things. McKinley is now pulling herself up, one move away from taking off crawling, and talking like a jabber monster (that's her mother's trait). I can't wait to see what she will do next. I would consider her picking her nose a rembrandt type talent that I certainly would brag about.

I started off staring at her wondering what do I do now? I now stare at her wondering what can I do for her now? Getting her to smile at me is the single greatest part of my day....I don't care if I have to smack my head against the wall, if she smiles I'll take the extra aspirin. I used to think I always wanted a boy only, but I can't believe how unbelievably happy I am to have a girl. It's an entirely new experience that is only going to get messier, and I love it. I have the most perfect daughter and the perfect mother for her is my terrific wife.

Keep the aspirin on hold, because these two will surely like to shop me into depths of debt like I've never seen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The vision

For over 15 years I've had the same reoccurring vision. If there is a time when I am sitting inattentively and my mind has the ability to wonder, I wonder my way right into the same mental vision. I'm not exaggerating, I have the exact same vision. The purpose of sharing this now is because I'm looking for clarity. So offer your insight, I have an idea of what it might mean, but I would love for all you professional psych's to break me down.

It always starts off the same. I start to drift off mentally and I'm taken away to a clear as day picture of my face, my eyes to be exact. It's dark, but you can see my eyes fixed on something in the distant, bright and large. Like a zoom in a camera I begin to zoom out and coming into focus is my face, head, shoulders, and soon the whole body. I'm wearing a full set of football pads, helmet, and everything. My eyes still fixed on something. I can't make out colors of the uniform or anything because it's dark. Next thing I know like a camera being spun around 180 degrees, I am now behind myself and see that I am looking at a fuzzy full field of defenders, all staring at me. I start barking out words that I can't make out, but they seem very important. I go back and forth, head swiveling and begin to get under center. This is where it get's weird. Everytime I start to drop back with the ball my view shifts as if I'm looking thru my own eyes, scanning back and forth...but I never throw it. I never find anyone or even attempt to throw it. The vision ends right there.

This vision has been happening like I said since I was right around 14 years old. I always thought it meant I would have that exact moment in a game when I was playing, but I never did. Then in college I thought this might be the moment when I would take a hit and literally die on the field, because "they hit kinda hard in college". That never happened, or I cheated it by only playing one year. Now I don't even coach football and am unsure why this vision is still a part of my life. It's not a dream, I am always awake, and I can always tell myself what the next part of the vision will be, but I can't get passed that dropback, it always ends.

Ok, psychoanalyze that people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rods and Cones

I used to stare in a fridge for a solid 3 minutes looking for the mustard bottle, I couldn't for the life of me find it. Mom would walk over and with super x-ray vision she would move stuff and pull out the yellow bottle. I would be astounded by her superman-esque power and ask how she did that? Her response was "Females have more developed Rods and Cones in your eyes". I thought this was bunk until I realized it's true through trial and error. Guys simply can't see the stuff females can. We look at a lazy susan full of cheerio boxes and can't find the mini wheats. A female looks at the same swinging gate and sees every freakin' item, including the absence of before mentioned cheerios. Prime example is tonight I was doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, and when I thought I was done, my wife was able to "point out" to me that in fact I missed over 8 items.

How does that happen? I was proudly sitting on the couch soaking in the good deed I just completed. I honestly thought I was done. I had cleaned up everything. Clearly I didn't, because my sense of satisfaction was not shared by my wife. She was dumbfounded at the fact that I had overlooked multiple items and I seriously couldn't answer the question "how did you miss that?" I was getting ready to drop the "Rods and Cones" thing, but the look on her face wasn't going to buy that nonsense. So instead I opted to do what any guy does when backed into a corner....fight back. I obviously had nothing to lean on substance wise, so I'm sure my argument made no sense. Maybe I'm just a handicap visionary that can't see beyond what he wants to...I don't know. Nonetheless my Rods and Cones failed me tonight, landing me on a couch cushion of failure. I'm sorry wife of mine, I'll work on those Rods and Cones, and not fighting back when backed into a corner, and just admit my inadequacy's....and blame the male eye ball. I love you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Free Agency

The whole Carmello Anthony saga has me thinking. What if every job had free agency? Here is Anthony who was drafted to the denver nuggets. I've been to denver, it's beautiful, but it doesn't scream basketball fanatics. So after his stint there of proving his worth it's time to take his talents to the big apple. What if there were Mel Kipers and Mike and Mike's that followed the best post office worker. This dude trudges thru the snow, sleet, and howling winds. He never misses his mark and people like the way he waves as he closes your mailbox now full of potential surprises. He's happy working in Central Ohio, but he's been eyeing the sunny coast of San Diego where carrying mail is the big leagues. After a couple years, Postal Pete (that's his nickname) lets Central Ohio know they have the option of resigning him or trading him away for a young scrappy newbie, a little too wet behind the ears. Central Ohio Post Office gets on the horn and starts wheeling and dealing for PP's services...San Diego doesn't want to lose their rookie too early so they wait it out, knowing that Postal Peter is sunshine bound. This goes round and round till Ontario Canada gets in the mix because of the increase flow of fan mail for the Bieb's, and starts offering up all kinds of Canada swag for PP.

I realize you can leave your job whenever you want and try to better your situation, but what if this is how all professions worked? Could you imagine the garage parties people would throw to watch the 2011 U.S. Postal Draft. Think about it, your local neighborhood drafting a hard working middle age mom.....or taking the risk on the 22 year old young gun who puts his own flair on the customary uniform, pumping his chest after a perfectly placed piece of parcel in your m-box? I would tune in, especially to see if my town got stuck with this guy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Performance Pay

This is going to start a riot.

The other day at lunch four young(ish) men were sitting in my room eating another well prepared school lunch. The typical lunch bunch conversation is centered around the sports from the evening before or how we all want to go camping and make flat iron steaks under the moon. This day was a little different. Our Tom Hanks look a like brought up the spark plug topic among teachers, "Performance Pay". Say those words and you'll get a distinct reaction from the typical teacher. For those that do not know what that means, basically, a teacher is paid upon their students performance. Now, I've been down this road of discussion many a time with teachers and (as they view it) the real world workers. I'm here to tell you that I see both sides of the argument for exactly what they're worth, and agree with both. I'm the definition of a fence sitter on this topic. Let me explain why.

For Performance Pay. There isn't any reason why a teacher that has been teaching 30+ plus years should make twice as much as the first year teacher, based solely on their experience. It's ludicrous to think that first year teacher could be teaching like their hairs on fire and really impacting kids on a daily basis while the veteran is riding out the final years of their contract to earn a few extra percents on their retirement. Where is the incentive? Besides being a good person and wanting to impact kids, where is the incentive for that first year teacher to really work that much harder? That teacher could do the minimum just so they don't get fired or teach like a possessed encyclopedia with personality and earn the same amount of money. Performance pay is designed to reward those teachers that go the extra mile and get results. Performance pay could potentially provide bonuses for a student achieving higher than they should on a standardized test. Perhaps you help that student grow more than they were supposed to that year and earn a higher salary.

Against Performance Pay. Most parents don't trust their kids to stay at home by themselves or make the correct decision when it comes to drugs, alcohol, or why do I want that same kid determining my salary? Do I really trust that the kid will do the extra work it takes at home on their own? Or will they spend the half hour to hour on facebook or xbox? I have 50 minutes a day for a 186 days to ensure my salary is livable. It's a miserable situation when a student comes to school and hasn't showered for three days or is being beat at home. As a teacher you do what you can to make those 50 minutes the best escape from their awful reality that is their home. That isn't tested on a standardized test. You don't get a growth report on that student who has to wake themselves up each day, skip breakfast because they don't have the option to eat, and come to school after a night of sleeping in a house without heat because his mom can't afford it. Then hope that same student can pass that test so you get paid, because after all, a multiple choice test on life science is exactly what their focused on.

I see both sides, I could argue for both until I turn blue. I wish they could find a compromise because too often teachers get bashed by the real world workers, and too often teachers complain about pay. Maybe performance pay should be based on a number of performances or so on....I don't know. Add your thoughts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My buddy Scott and I were talking about mediocrity the other day in regards to kids and parents these days. This of course is not all encompassing of all kids and parents, just the portion we were talking about. Mediocrity is the state of being mediocre, which means being of average quality. Average. Isn't that a word that has a weird mind twist meaning? It has positive connotations if you are doing poorly, or it has negative connotations if you are doing well. I can't remember ever being in a state of mind where being "average" was a place I wanted to be. Oddly enough it seems to be the common meeting ground for so many now. Is it entitlement? Is it laziness? Is it lack of ability? Is it falling short? I have a theory but it has zero weight to back it up other than my opinion. I teach American history. I teach about men and women who never even knew the definition of mediocre. Mediocre meant not defeating the British in the Revolutionary War. Mediocre meant the constitution would have fallen short of being the most powerful document in the world today. These men and women wouldn't have been a part of Scott and I's conversation. Instead we are talking about generations later of young men that lost something their ancestors had. I'm not blaming anyone, nor am I calling out a generation that is just a mere 10 years away from me. I am bringing up a bigger issue that over the years, decades, and centuries has evolved into "part" of our society today, entitlement, greed, arrogance. Look no further than our high school seniors that declare on national TV where they are attending college with hats, puppies, and gimmicks. I worry that the generation we are raising in that spotlight is just adding to the problem. I am sure when I was an 18 year old we did things to piss the older people off, as did they. How can we change it? Do we need to change it? Is it good for our future or will it continue to send us down a road of politicians that send pictures of themselves to online classified girls. Is the over the top desire to prove our worth through these stunts the work to overcome mediocrity? Does it make us more mediocre, I don't know, just like I don't know how I got so far off topic.

Monday, January 17, 2011

you want my best? That will cost ya.

I don't understand company's like Time Warner Cable. I sit and watch commercials that advertise time warner willing to give a faster internet if you are willing to upgrade. I don't get that. They have the ability to offer a faster internet correct? It's not like it will hurt them in anyway if they offer their better way, right? So why hold back? Why make you pay more for something they should just give you.

Let me ask you this. When you walk into a barber shop and get a haircut, do you expect their best? Do you expect the lady halfway thru your awkward conversation to stop and ask you..."would you like the upgraded haircut, or the regular?" What the heck are you gonna say?

If your brakes are shot on your car, you take them to the mechanic. Before he begins he doesn't say, would you like me to give you my best effort or the regular effort?

I don't say to my kids before I start a lesson, alrighty kiddo's....pass up extra apples and I'll give you a better lesson.

"Excuse me sir"

"Yeah Doc, whats going on?"

"We're getting ready to put you under for your triple by-pass, just wanted to offer you our upgrade"

"ah no thanks, I'll take the regular"

Who does that? Time Warner. So I don't understand it. Yeah it's money...blah blah....give me your best, why? Just because.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Are you a fan of chips? Do you get immense satisfaction out of a good potato chip? Look no further than the home grown glory of the marcelled goodness, Ballreich's. You thought Tiffin, OH was only known for producing "yours truly" .....oh but don't forget the chip of all chips. They have many flavors, but the best are the two you see above. The BBQ is to die for, I have a hunch that these were used as currency in the early 1800's. The original are also amazing but I prefer the BBQ, my brother prefers the salt n vinegar, and I used to always eat the Sour Cream and Onion. The chip plant is on Ohio Ave. in Tiffin, OH, you typically could only buy them in town.....Here's the best news for those that do not live in the fine metropolis in Northwest Ohio...they are now in Central Ohio and other parts. I have personal knowledge you can find them in almost all the Kroger's now in Columbus and surrounding areas. I dare you to go out and buy one bag and pretend you won't buy another. Try it. This tuesday is the OSU bowl game, pick up a bag of Ballreich's and enjoy a good game of pigskin with even better potato chips. If you don't love them, I won't buy you a bag of your own, but I'll just be shocked.